By Molly • 

Sides go silent on Cascade Steel Mill negotiations

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yes very regressive and not what i have been hearing! the steelworkers are asking for a cost of living raise which they havent received in years! also they just want to maintain the health benefits they have, i dont believe they are asking for a more expensive health plan! also never heard talk about increasing any bonuses its all about taking them away! these guys work hard and take pride in what they do, they deserve to be treated accordingly!



I think I read that in 2010 cascade LOST 5.8 million dollars. I assume they continued to pay workers wages and the agreed benefit costs during that time...I don't think the discussion is about respecting the workers or how hard they work, it seems to me to be about a companys ability to make a profit. Something it appears that they are not doing.


You forget to take into account all the facts such as layoff's and that we gave back our cola that year. Neither you nor any other poster that questions our fight Dod a contract has said anything about what the upper and middle management are making. Why is that? If as you state we were doing so poorly then why didn't management take severe cuts in bonuses and pay or do you feelthat should only come from the guys and gals out on the floor loading the trucks and railcars and offloading the transfers or making the steel we sell.
There are many that want to believe that we are greedy and lazy or just plain ignorant. We are none of those things. What we are. We are your neighbors and fellow members of the community and we just want a fair shake.
Now you can produce all the facts and figures you want and so can we but it all comes down to this, we have stood behind our mill through thick and thin and we have lost quite a bit of what we once had. Are we villains for trying to get a bone tossed our way?

In the court of public opinion I pray that you judge us as if you were one of us and had all the facts from the last several years to go on. What is out there is but a very small piepe of a larger picture.

No matter how you judge/veiw us I just want to say God bless you and many thanks for your comments

Kathleen Blair

What the News Register is not reporting: from

"A striking worker at Cascade Steel Rolling Mills was treated at Providence Newberg Medical Center today after a car driven by a security guard bumped him on the picket line. The incident occurred about 5 a.m. this morning at the west entrance to the employee parking lot outside Cascade Steel Rolling Mills in McMinnville. "�He put his bumper right up against my leg and then he hit the gas,� mill shop worker Lee Frakes said. Picketers called police, who took statements from witnesses, and cited the driver for failure to yield to a pedestrian � a traffic infraction. After the incident, Frakes said he tried to continue walking the picket line, but started to experience pain and numbness in his lower right leg. �It�s just really bad timing,� Frakes said. Frakes, 36, says his wife is due to give birth any day to their third child, and he can�t drive with his leg immobilized. Frakes says he�s disturbed by the incident, and says managers and non-union employees at the mill have been getting more aggressive in recent days. �I watched a guy almost get hit [by a manager�s car] the other day. He came in super fast, and if the guy did not jump out of the way, he would have been hit.�



I understand the sacrifices that have been made, giving back the COLA last year was a very generous jesture, and it also likely saved a number of union jobs. As far as losing a lot of what you once had....of course you have, just like everyone else in the country, the economy is in the tank. I am not making you out to be greedy, I am merely pointing out that the timing isn't very good. If Cascade were profitable I think most everyone would agree with your requests. The overriding facts are not what has happened in the past but the financial situation now and in the short term going forward....and frankly the outlook isn't that great for most of us.....



the NW labor press has a bias to the union cause don't you think? Reporting what "almost" happened and what people "overheard" doesn't sound like fair and balanced coverage and leads to more misinformation and animosity by workers toward the that really helpful in the barginning process?

just me

hacksaw, in those loses you mentioned in 2010, that was the year we gave up our pay increase as well. the company, cascade, buys its scrap from schnitzer, so they are really buying and selling to themselves and inflating prices for inferior scrap. which means, we are buying scrap that no one else will buy for an inflated price and turning it into a useable product. there for cascade is still making money for schnitzer, just not in the books. just sit back and think about it and it will make sense to you.

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